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S. Korea navy fires shots after DPRK's shell falls near disputed maritime border

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08:42, August 11, 2011

SEOUL, Aug. 10 (Xinhua) -- South Korean Navy returned two rounds of shots after one shell fired by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) apparently fell near disputed maritime border in the western sea, local media late Wednesday quoted military source as saying.

The DPRK fired two artillery shots toward the so-called Northern Limit Line (NLL) in the Yellow Sea at around 7:46 p.m. local time and one of the shots was estimated to have fallen near the disputed sea border, the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) was quoted as saying.

South Korea's Navy responded at around 8:02 p.m. local time with three warning shots, the JCS added.

It was the second artillery shells fired by the DPRK that fell near the NLL. At around 1:00 p.m. local time earlier in the day, the DPRK fired three shells, and the South Korea's Navy returned three warning shots one hour later, according to the JCS.

But the JCS said it cannot determine whether the shell actually cross the NLL.

South Korea is keeping tabs on the DPRK, which might have been engaged in routine drills, the JCS said.

South Korea and the DPRK have remained at odds on the so-called NLL, which was fixed unilaterally by the U.S.-led United Nations Command after the 1950-1953 Korean War. South Korea holds the NLL as the de-facto western inter-Korean border, but the DPRK rejected the NLL and only recognized the demarcation line it drew in 1999, which was further south of the NLL.

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